Pest Identification & Prevention In Columbus, OH
Columbus and the surrounding areas are home to many kinds of pests and wildlife. If you find any of them in or around your home or business, you likely want to know more about them. Our Pest Library provides the most important information you need, including what they look like, what problems you can expect from them, and what to do about them.
Bed bugs are blood-feeding pests that live inside homes and businesses with people. A human is a bed bug’s favorite host to consume a blood meal from, so it is only natural that these pests live where we live. Bed bugs are about the same size and shape as an apple seed and have specialized mouthparts they use to bite through their host’s skin to consume their blood. An anesthetic in bed bug saliva allows them to work silently and not wake their sleeping host. In addition to people, bed bugs feed on some animals, including our pets (cats and dogs). Bed bugs live successfully in almost any indoor environment like our homes, hotels, motels, airports, libraries, hospitals, schools, office buildings, dormitories, and shopping centers.
Bed bugs move from place to place on people and our belongings. These clever hitchhikers move with ease across streets, cities, and states on clothing and inside luggage, electronics, pieces of furniture, or rugs. In multi-unit spaces like office buildings or apartment buildings, bed bugs crawl from unit to unit through walls or floors.
The bed bug’s dark color and ability to squeeze their body into tight spaces means it can sometimes take a homeowner weeks or months to notice an infestation. If you ever see dark streaks or blood droplets on bedding, linens, or pillows, wake up with unexplained bug bites, or notice a sweet, musty odor in your home, immediately contact a professional for help!
To help prevent these biting pests from taking over your house, we want to offer you the following easy-to-execute prevention tips:
- Eliminate the clutter from your home where bed bugs like to hide.
- Remove some of their favorite hiding spots by placing bed bug-proof cover on mattresses and box springs.
- Frequently vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture to remove stray bed bugs.
- When in public, keep your belongings off the floor and when traveling, inspect your accommodations for bed bugs before bringing your belongings inside.
- In multi-unit buildings, use door sweeps and seal spaces around baseboards and cracks in walls to keep them from crawling into your unit.
Mosquitoes are a type of fly and unwelcome pests in our yards because the females require blood meals to create their eggs. To obtain their blood meals, they use their elongated, piercing mouthparts to pierce the skin of their animal or human host. Mosquitoes are relentless pests that swarm together in large numbers delivering painful, itchy bites that spread serious diseases like the West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). Unfortunately, in Ohio, mosquitoes are most active in the summer and fall when we are also most active outside, trying to enjoy our yards and other outdoor spaces. The hot, humid weather provides them with all the food and water they need to complete their life cycle.
Mosquitoes are outdoor pests and can become a problem on any property; however, their populations are highest in areas with a lot of standing water. Standing water is a vital component of the mosquito’s life cycle. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of standing water, so properties near wooded areas, drainage ditches, ponds, and lakes tend to have high populations of mosquitoes living on them, but it is not just those with properties near large areas of standing water that need to worry about problems with mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will lay their eggs on top of standing water that gathers almost anywhere, such as in buckets, on top of tarps, in clogged gutters, old tires, and low-lying areas in driveways.
To make your property less attractive to these biting pests, utilize the following helpful prevention tips:
- The biggest thing you can do to limit mosquito activity in your yard is to eliminate standing water from your property. Remove containers that can collect water or store them upside down when not in use.
- Fill in low-lying areas that accumulate rainwater, and shake off the water that gathers on tarps or trash can lids.
- Keep gutters clear of debris and don’t overwater gardens or potted plants.
- Keep mosquitoes from accidentally moving into your home by ensuring the screens in windows and doors are secure and free of holes.
- It is also important to reduce the amount of vegetation you have in your yard for mosquitoes to use as resting areas.
Some pests want to live in our homes and choose to do so throughout most of the year. For example, ants and rodents regularly move in and out of our homes to forage for food and create nests within our temperature-controlled walls. Occasional invaders are different because they typically live outside for most of the year and only “occasionally” move into our homes, usually only to overwinter or to seek out areas of moisture. They don’t feed and breed inside but rather hang out until the weather becomes more suitable. Hot, dry, or cold weather is the most common reason these pests move inside.
Centipedes, stinkbugs, boxelder bugs, ladybugs, cluster flies, and silverfish are all examples of occasional invaders. They are regular fixtures in our yards, living in damp, dark areas like our gardens, landscaped areas, under woodpiles, and under trash cans and recycling bins. When these pests live in our yards, it is easy for them to find a way into our homes through small gaps they come across in the exterior walls.
Once inside, the pests make a bee-line for areas of your home that mimic its outdoor environments. These pests often gather in damp basements or crawl spaces, around sinks and tubs, behind walls voids, and in attics – all areas of a home that make them challenging to find and get rid of them.
To make your property less attractive to these annoying pests, utilize the following helpful prevention tips:
- Reduce moisture inside or outside your home by repairing leaking pipes, replacing worn weatherstripping, and installing door sweeps.
- Make sure to adequately ventilate your basement or crawl space to stop trapping moisture.
- Create a crushed rock barrier between any mulch or grass and your foundation.
- Store woodpiles, trash cans, and recycling bins away from the outside walls of your home where occasional invaders like to hide.
- Make sure also to repair any cracks that develop in your home’s foundation.
Rodents are one of the most troublesome pests for home and business owners. They are active year-round, meaning whether it is the middle of the summer or the middle of the winter, rodents could be busy breeding and feeding in your yard or home! Some rodents like house mice, field mice, roof rats, and Norway rats are regular visitors to our indoor and outdoor spaces. Other rodents like shrews and voles tend to be more of a problem in our yards and gardens. No matter the rodents, they all have chisel-like front incisors that grow continuously throughout their lives and help identify them.
Rodents are never a welcome sight on our properties. They cause structural damage, contaminate food, dig through our yards and gardens, are prolific breeders, and are challenging to eliminate. They also spread diseases and parasites and produce foul odors. The good news is that if rodents have found a way onto your property, they tend to leave behind noticeable signs, helping you to discover and eliminate them sooner rather than later!
Rodents leave behind large amounts of their dark, rice-like dropping as they travel throughout our homes and around nesting sites. Their droppings are often found on floors, on counters, in drawers, and behind furniture. Rodents tend to be loud pests; when they are in our homes, it is common to hear them gnawing, running, and squeaking behind walls. Outside, rodents cause telltale damage like creating runways through the grass, ground holes, and nibbling on tree bark.
To make your property less attractive to these dangerous and destructive animals, try these helpful prevention tips:
- Make your yard less desirable by keeping the grass mowed short, filling in ground holes, and eliminating excess ground cover.
- Keep rodents out of your house by inspecting its exterior and sealing openings you find in the foundation, roofline, and around windows and doors.
- Leave a barrier of crushed rock between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
- Keep trash cans, recycling bins, and woodpiles away from your home’s exterior walls.
- Eliminate easy access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, regularly harvesting gardens, picking up uneaten pet food, and keeping eating areas clean.
As their name tells us, wildlife are wild animals. They have not been domesticated and can live quite successfully without people’s help. However, as people and animals have been pushed to live near each other, many wild animals have adapted. Unfortunately, wild animals do not understand the boundaries of your yards and homes, and they have learned to benefit from the food, water, and shelter people and our properties unintentionally provide them with. Examples of wild animals that make their way onto our Ohio properties include raccoons, skunks, squirrels, bats, moles, groundhogs, and coyotes. These wild animals can be very persistent and will keep returning to a property as long as it meets their basic needs.
Having wild animals living on your property and nesting and foraging for food in your yard or, even worse, in your home is problematic. Some of the biggest issues wild animals cause include the following:
- Wild animals are well known for digging through trash cans and damaging lawns, and gardens.
- They will damage the exterior and interior of your home making entry and exit points.
- Wild animals will contaminate your indoor and outdoor spaces with their excrement, urine, and shed fur.
- Some wild animals like raccoons, skunks, and coyotes are a significant threat to pets like chickens, cats, and small dogs.
- Wild animals carry many parasites and diseases that threaten people and our pets, including rabies in some cases. Also, if they feel trapped or in danger, they won’t hesitate to bite, scratch, hiss, or growl to defend themselves.
To make your property less attractive to these dangerous and destructive animals, utilize the following prevention tips:
- Reduce their access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, picking up uneaten pet food, removing bird feeders, and maintaining gardens.
- Keep wandering wild animals out of your home by closing basement doors and bulkheads, shed doors, and garage doors whenever possible.
- Place caps on chimneys, and cover vents.
- Make sure screens are in windows and doors.
- Reduce harborage spots in your yard by keeping shrubbery and landscaping plants well maintained, removing unnecessary woodpiles and fallen trees, and placing fencing around the bottoms of sheds and decks.
The professionals at Mandau’s Pest Solutions have the experience, knowledge, humane tools, and treatments necessary to eliminate troublesome pests and stop them from returning. To learn more about our trustworthy wildlife pest control solutions in Columbus, OH, and how we can work together to help you rid your property of unwanted animals, insects, and rodents, reach out to us today!
Bret is incredible and his service is top notch. During the spring of 2020 we had a skunk infestation and he removed 12 skunks. He also solved our raccoon and squirrel issues. Our pest issues have been nil since hiring Bret!